Latitude home Latitude 38


Previous 'Lectronic

'Lectronic Latitude Latest 'Lectronic
Subscribe to LectronicLatitude to receive emails when 'Lectronic Latitude is updated.

Racing Wrap-Up

August 11, 2008 – The Bay and Beyond

505 kite
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

This is never a good scenario. When your spin halyard is on a reverse purchase, and it's blowing 25, there's a whole new wrinkle to the recovery effort. Dalton Bergan and Fritz Lanzinger managed to pull this one off. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Mike Martin and Jeff Nelson dominated a star-studded field of 24 boats at this weekend's 505 PCCs, hosted by St. Francis YC. Whether sailing on the Circle Saturday, or Cityfront on Sunday in breeze to the mid-20s, the duo won races — a lot of races. Actually they won every race, reprising their win at the club's Spring Dinghy regatta earlier this year — having to drop a bullet as their throwout. Martin's  former skipper Howie Hamlin, with whom he won a Worlds in the class, sailed with Andy Zinn to second place, finishing seven points back after the six-race, one-throwout series.

Nick Adamson and Steve Bourdow were the top Nor Cal finishers at the 505 PCCs. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Third up were Nor Cal sailors and former Olympians, San Carlos' Nick Adamson and Santa Cruz' Steve Bourdow. Two other class enthusiasts better known for their big boat — read: really big boat — exploits, Hasso 'Morning Glory' Plattner and Philippe 'Pegasus' Kahn also showed up, with Plattner prevailing in the clash of the software titans. The 2009 505 Worlds will be hosted by St. Francis YC, and are just about a year away. If Martin and Nelson's results here this year are any indication, they'll be the ones to beat come next August.

The J/105s got some big breeze at SFYC's Summer Keelboat Regatta, which doubled as the class' PCCs. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Among the many keelboat events this weekend, the J/105s sailed for their PCCs alongside the Express 37s and 1D35s at San Francisco YC's Summer Keelboat Regatta. We caught some of the action on the Circle Saturday afternoon — and there were some pretty remarkable photo-finishes featuring a number of the usual suspects typically found at the front of the class. As of this writing, the results hadn't yet been published, but should be up sometime today.

J105 photo finish
Tom Coates Masquerade and Don Wilson's Convexity with a photo finish. Photo Latitude / Rob
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Ditto for the HDA/ODCA Fall 1 which had 106 boats signed up, and the OYRA Lightship II which had 69 signed up, although we noticed a few who would have had to have practically teleported back from Kaneohe Bay to make the start.

Over in Qingdao, Finn sailor Zach Railey is leading after four races with multiple Gold Cup winner and Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie of Great Britain in second, only five points behind. Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi are moving up through the standings and now sit in fourth with the all-conquering British trio of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson out in front. For the schedule of online video production, visit NBC's website.

Tomorrow the StFYC's International 18 Skiff Regatta gets going off Crissy Field. Don't miss it. © 2018 Erik Simonson /

Finally, this week, make sure you head down to Crissy Field to check out St. Francis YC's International 18 Skiff Regatta, the marquis 18-foot skiff event in the U.S. Twelve of the top teams in the world from Oz, Europe and the U.S. will be jousting all over Cityfront ostensibly with their smaller, number-two rigs. Even so expect some speed and carnage! The action starts tomorrow and runs through Saturday.

- latitude / rg

Bookmark and Share

Fall Crew List Party

Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

AIS B Transceivers Not Available in the U.S.

August 11, 2008 – Everywhere but Here

In the August 1 'Lectronic, we incorrectedly reported that Raymarine offers Type B transmit and receive Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) for recreational boats in the United States. This information was based on a call to a major marine retailer, but was wrong. Our apologies.

What is true is that Type B AIS transmitters can be purchased everywhere in the world but the United States. Why not the United States? Because the Federal Communications Commission has not approved them yet.

Let's review the entire AIS subject. There are two types, A and B. In U.S. waters, type As are required on self-propelled commercial vessels of 65 feet or more in length — other than fishing vessels and small passenger vessels certificated to carry 150 or fewer passengers. Also, towing vessels of 26 feet or more and more than 600 hp. Passenger vessels for more than 150 passengers regardless of size must also have Type As. The rules are almost the same for international waters.

Type As consist of a transmitter and a receiver. Every two seconds the transmitter sends out a signal on VHF that lets everyone in range with an type A or type B receiver know the following information: ship's name and MMSI number, type of vessel, the calculated closest point of approach, the time to closest point of approach, the vessel's speed and heading, and the vessel's rate of turn. Some newer models are expected to include additional information, such as the captain's favorite foods, name of mother-in-law, and so forth.

These type A AIS units are terrific devices to prevent collisions. However, they transmit every two seconds at 12.5 watts, so they are power hungry. You can buy type A units, such as under the Comer brand, for as little as $2,400. We've not yet been able to determine whether it's legal for recreational boats to use type A transceivers.

There are two kinds of type B units, which are for recreational boats, and are optional as opposed to being required. One kind are the receive-only units, which are currently the only legal type Bs for U.S. waters. They allow skippers of recreational boats to receive almost all the same information about ships and commercial vessels as owners of type A units. As you'll read in the September Latitude 38 Letters, these type B receive-only units have been getting rave reviews. A number of skippers used them in the recent Singlehanded TransPac, and were delighted because they could set a guard alarm to have their AIS alert them if a ship was on a collision course with them.

Type B receiver units are available as both stand-alone units or can be used in conjunction with GPS units and chartplotters. They retail for as little as $300.

Simrad's AI50 type B AIS transceiver is available pretty much everywhere but here. © 2018 Simrad

Some type B AIS units transmit as well as receive. But as we pointed out, they cannot be purchased in the U.S. or used in U.S. waters. Unlike type As, the Bs only broadcast every 30 seconds, and only at 2 watts. This means they don't use as much power, but they don't broadcast their signal nearly as often or as far. You can buy type B transmit and receive units outside of the U.S. for under $1,000.

We think installing type B receive-only units is a no-brainer. They are only a couple of hundred dollars, and as many who have them have noted, they 'pay for themselves' the first time they have to be used.

- latitude / rs

Bookmark and Share

Sausalito Sewage Spill

August 11, 2008 – Richardson Bay

No marinas or wildlife were reported to have been affected by this weekend's relatively small sewage spill into Richardson Bay. Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A plugged pipe in downtown Sausalito caused several thousand gallons of sewage to overflow down streets and into Richardson Bay over the weekend. The spill, which started sometime Saturday night and was finally cleared about 17 hours later, prompted a Bay Area-wide response team to close down Swede’s Beach at the foot of Valley Street. Nearby marinas and other waterfront businesses were apparently unaffected and continued business as usual on Sunday. Early estimates of the size of the spill varied from 6,000 to 18,000 gallons, making this a relatively small incident compared to the 2.7 million gallon spill from a Mill Valley treatment plant last February. Few if any Sausalito boaters noted (or smelled) anything amiss — unless they lived at the Portofino Riviera Apartments on Main Street, where the parking, storage and laundry facilities were flooded by the spill.

Bookmark and Share

Top | Index of Stories | Previous 'Lectronic Edition
Copy this link and paste it into your RSS reader 'Lectronic RSS feed
How to submit your own story, visit here


'Lectronic Latitude | Download the Magazine | Crew List & Party
Calendar | Letters | Changes in Latitudes | Features
Classy Classifieds | Place a Classy Ad | Advertisers' Links | Display Advertising
Links | New Stuff | Subscriptions | Distribution | Contact Us | Home
  The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC. All rights reserved.